Tuning In To Digital: BI Lands at Bose in Boston

A quick history lesson on our hosts: the company was founded by Dr. Amar Bose, who got his start as a teenager repairing broken radios in his parents’ Philadelphia basement. He would later attend MIT where he learned to design electronics. When Amar founded Bose Corporation in 1964, he established an identity built around scientific research but guided by human interests. You could argue his customer-centric approach was way ahead of its time.

The Brand Innovators fall tour stopped in Boston last week. Our friends at Bose Corporation were kind enough to host us for a half-day deep dive on Marketing and Media. Speakers from TripAdvisor, New Balance, John Hancock, Spindrift, Avocados From Mexico and Clarks knocked around strategies for leveraging marketing innovation to drive better consumer engagement. They also broke down today’s media landscape and talked about hot issues like dynamic data and real-time insights.

A quick history lesson on our hosts: the company was founded by Dr. Amar Bose, who got his start as a teenager repairing broken radios in his parents’ Philadelphia basement. He would later attend MIT where he learned to design electronics. When Amar founded Bose Corporation in 1964, he established an identity built around scientific research but guided by human interests. You could argue his customer-centric approach was way ahead of its time.

Our day opened with a fireside chat featuring Pat LaCroix (below), Bose’s Director of Demand Generation. “Our goal at Bose,” LaCroix said, “is to deliver innovation & technology that is going to have a real tangible customer benefit.” It sounds like Bose is backing up that talk as LaCroix gave great examples of customer-centrism from social media. The most compelling: Bose created a new social media series called Feedback that is designed to bring customers closer to the brand. “We’ve historically been a pretty private company,” says LaCroix. “We haven’t always been super-transparent. This series allows us to take questions from customers and have a direct dialogue with them.”

Up next was Keith Lusby, VP-Media of Dunkin’ Brands, who spoke about his company’s recent rebrand and its need to modernize while embracing its heritage. “For us,” Lusby said, “the core driver of our transformation as a brand was about finding the perfect mix of personalization at scale.”

It’s always good to hear specific stories on how agencies can help brands. So when Laura Pleasants, Global Director of Marketing for search intelligence firm Captify (the day’s sponsors) spoke to Bose’s Marissa Curcuru, the audience was all ears. Curcuru described how Bose was able to do preemptive research on an early-stage sleep solution it was developing. Captify’s search intelligence tools helped Bose understand with great specificity which people to target. (Answer: stressed executives along with people who have new babies or new pets.)

CMO Tara McRae (below at left) from UK-based shoe manufacturer Clarks told the audience how the brand launched its first 360° global brand ambassador campaign and offered a few key strategies for keeping their legacy brand fresh. Clarks was founded in Somerset, England in 1825 during what is now referred to in marketing as the “pre-brand ambassador era.”

The day ended with two panels. One focused on forecasting the future of consumer engagement and welcomed four thoughtful industry leaders: Sarah Herrin, Advertising Campaign Manager for Bose; Molly Steinkrauss, Director of Member Marketing for TripAdvisor; Leslie Dell’Anno, Director-Digital Marketing Strategy at John Hancock; and Caroline Kibler, SVP Marketing at Spindrift.

The other centered on the future of media and included marketers from New Balance, John Hancock, Bose and Avocados From Mexico.

The day ended with a happy hour at Boston’s iconic Legal Sea Foods and a VIP visit to Gillette Stadium for the Monday Night Football game between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants. You’ll never guess who won.

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